We had a successful cleanup today on the Lower Platte. For me the highlight was paddling with Katie Melin, who was my student at OPRFHS in the early 90s (and now a math teacher in Raleigh NC!), and her 8 year old son Luke. Here is his trip report:
On Monday the 9th my mom and I got up early to drive to the Lower Platte River. The drive was long, but I read the whole way there. We got to the parking lot and started to unload our gear. I waited with Sue while my mom and Ms. Lois dropped off the cars at the end of the canoe trip. We put our gear, like grabbers, in the canoe.
I got in the canoe for the first time. It was scary. I felt better after about 5 to 10 minutes. We saw all kinds of animals on the trip. (Frogs, ducks, fish, and even a snake!) We found a blue toy boat and a water gun. Who would leave those toys! ? We saw what we thought was a dead fish, but when I poked it with the grabber it swam away! On the way we picked up cans, ziploc bags, a pair of shorts, and some shoes. Who would leave clothes in the river?! We saw a lot of tubers floating on the river. Sometimes they were in our way.
We went through Loon Lake; it was easier than I thought. Surprisingly, we found a lot of trash on the edge of the lake. Several red cups and more cans. After we got across the lake it was windy, we had a break and had lunch. I ate peanuts and a sandwich. My mom ate the same thing. When we were done eating, we fixed a kayak paddle that broke at the beginning of the trip. We fixed it with with a lot of duct tape.
We then got back in the canoe and continued our trip. We took several water breaks at the end of the trip. At the end I got to swim with my life jacket on. I was so tired. While Ms. Lois and my mom brought up all the gear, I waited in the back of my car wrapped in a blanket. On the way home I called my dad and told him all about our trip. I was so glad that I did this trip.
Of course, the other "river pickers" from the TAPC were terrific too, and it was fun to work together as a team. Others included Susan, Gerald, Tracie, Jackie, and Linda W, plus Ross from Friends of SBDNL.
We filled about 5 huge bags with trash: shoes, lots of cans, bottles, a rug (?), lots of loose plastic, ropes, plastic cups, chip bags, toys, etc. Luke was amused when we picked up a pair of shorts - how could a person lose those? Though it is a fun activity, it's too bad we have to keep doing it.
Photos by Lois (with some editing by John)
P.S. Luke and both of his parents will be on our Hodenpyl trip on July 23.
Here we are at the put-in. Linda was still up by the cars, so she missed this shot.
This is Luke cleaning up Kittendorf Landing
His Mom and I waited patiently; he wonders why there are so many Bud Light cans
Sue and Tracie off-loading stuff at the Fish Weir, while Luke holds the big bags open.
Jackie's paddle broke about 10 minutes into the trip, so she paddled with half of it up to lunchtime. Lois had an emergency stash of duct tape - you can buy a nice small flat "roll" at Ace Hardware. Gerald helped do the surgery to put the thing back together - unfortunately we didn't have a dowel to make a splint, but it held together until the end of the trip, though it was a bit bent by the takeout. Luke and Sue supervised.
Linda, Sue and Gerry prepare to launch after our lunch break.
We found a watergun - What can make an 8 year old boy happier than that?
Jackie and Tracie are done! Gerald rushed down to assist with boat hauling.
Two math teachers (one living in Raleigh NC), and one very tired kid
How tired was he? But he can't wait to go canoeing again! Next time somewhere faster.